Sumter County Board of Commissioners holds two public hearings at its October Work Session

Published 4:31 pm Thursday, October 13, 2022

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AMERICUS – At the beginning of its October Work Session on Tuesday, October 11, the Sumter County Board of Commissioners (BOC) held two public hearings. The first public hearing was to consider a request from Ulysses and Lesia Solomon to move their home day care facility from 199 Roy Circle down a few houses to 196 Roy Circle. The property is identified as parcel 273oA 162 21 and is located within a Single Family Residential District.

Heather Tyler of the Sumter County Planning and Zoning Board told the BOC that the Solomon’s came in and requested permission to move their home daycare right across the street from their house. “They’ve been at their current address of 196 Roy Circle for over 20 years,” Tyler told the BOC. Tyler went on to say that in order for the Solomons to move across, they had to follow the new zoning requirements and it says that if is going to be in that R-2 District, it can have a nursery school, Kindergarten and day care facility provided that all state requirements and licenses are met. Tyler added that Mrs. Solomon does have a state license to run a Day Care facility and has always met the requirements, however, Tyler went on to say that the last statement in the zoning requirement states that it has to be located on a state highway. “My board heard what they had to say,” Tyler said. “No one spoke in opposition. No one else spoke up in favor of it either. In this case, my board cannot vary any of that statement.” Tyler went on to say that the Solomons were encouraged to come to the BOC Work Session to explain what they want to do, which they did. Tyler added that she wanted to see if the BOC could allow for a variance and that the other house would allow them almost double the amount of children that they have right now and currently, there is not a constant flow of traffic. Tyler added that her board denied the Solomons’ request simply because of the statement saying that it has to be located on a state highway.

Sumter County Attorney Hayden Hooks stated that she would like to do more research on the matter before taking the Solomons’ request to the BOC for approval. The Solomons’ got a chance to explain to the BOC what they wanted to do. Lesia Solomon stated that she has been operating a day care for the last 25 years and that she wanted to get a special exception because she didn’t want to move the facility across the street. Mrs. Solomon stated that they want to do this so that they can take more children to help the community out and that they have a good reputation and do things by the book. Ulyssses Solomon stated that they do not want to change the appearance of the neighborhood. Commissioner Scott Roberson asked the Solomons how many children they currently have. They said that the house they would like to move the facility to can accommodate up to 30 children, but that they currently have 18.

No one spoke in opposition of the request. At that point, Waddell stated that the BOC doesn’t want to approve something and approve it the wrong way. He recommended that the Zoning Board look at it further and approve it the right way and then the matter can be brought before the BOC for approval. The issue is expected to be brought up at the BOC’s regular meeting the following week.

The next public hearing dealt with a request from Carolyn and Richard Roseberry to replace an existing manufactured home on parcel 159 12A 87 for the purpose of downsizing. This parcel is known as 196 Tommy Warren Dr. and is located within a Lake Single Family Residential District. Heather Tyler stated that the Roseberrys came in to the Planning and Zoning Board Office and requested to do a replacement of a manufactured home in an R-1L district and the board had to review the zoning ordinance in order to approve or deny their request. “When the Roseberrys came in, they told me they had found a dealership that they had found a home that they love,” Tyler told the BOC. “I eventually reached out to that dealership and go through the section of the ordinance that gives the requirements for placing and putting in the new mobile homes down there in the R-1L District and they actually exceeded in almost every area of the ordinance sections, so my board heard that, reviewed the pictures and they definitely go above and beyond everything that is required in the zoning ordinance as it stands.” Tyler went on to say that the Roseberrys live in a bigger house down the street and just want to downsize. Tyler added that the board did approve the Roseberrys’ request.

Mr. Roseberry told the BOC that the reason he picked a mobile home instead of a modular home was because they were made identical. “The reason I picked the mobile home was that it has a steel structure up under it,” Roseberry said. “As a Georgia Tech Engineer, I look at everything with an engineering attitude, I guess.” Roseberry went on to say that if he had bought the modular home, it has 2×10 seals under it and there are pillars sitting everywhere. He added that the ground structure near the Flint River is mostly lime rock and the line rock is moving all the time. In other words, he wanted to use the mobile home because the steel structure underneath it made for a firm foundation and it will not move.

No one spoke in opposition of the Roseberrys’ request and the public hearing was closed. BOC Chairman Mark Waddell then entertained a motion to consider the Roseberrys’ request to replace an existing manufactured home with a new manufactured home on parcel 1529 12A 87 on 196 Tommy Warren Drive for the purpose of downsizing. Commissioner Scott Roberson made a motion for approval and Commissioner Jesse Smith seconded the motion. The BOC voted and the motion carried unanimously. There will be another public hearing on this matter at the BOC’s regular meeting on Tuesday, October 18.